|National Public Lands Day in Gold Butte|
Nevada Wilderness Project (NWP)
8550 White Fir Street
Reno, NV 89523
Nancy Hall; NWP’s Gold Butte Organizer & President, Friends of Gold Butte
National Public Lands Day
In Gold Butte
Saturday, September 26th marks National Public Lands Day, and a high number of volunteers are expected in the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) National Monuments and other protected areas—in Nevada and nationally. Volunteerism on public lands -- which helps overburdened federal land managers maintain trails, pick up trash and more -- is on the rise nationally in BLM’s conservation lands and is significantly improving conservation efforts on Nevada’s public lands. The BLM’s National Landscape Conservation System, which contains 27 million acres of conservation designations, was established in 2000 and took a large step forward when Congress established it permanently this March.
In southern Nevada, Friends of Gold Butte are coordinating with the BLM on restoration projects, in an area where the group is working towards a new National Conservation Area. Volunteers will create a hiking trail, construct a fence, and restore an old road bed with native plants, which will help protect desert tortoise habitat and protect valuable cultural resources. “We’re excited to see how much public enthusiasm there is for these special places,” said Nancy Hall, Friends of Gold Butte President.
Gold Butte, located northeast of Las Vegas and south of Mesquite, is a region rich with Native American petroglyphs and rock art, essential habitat for many animal species, and a great place for recreation. Friends of Gold Butte, a non-profit organization, is working to raise awareness about the area and help get it into the National Landscape Conservation System. Learn more here. http://weethump.wordpress.com/2009/09/21/volunteer-in-gold-butte-for-national-public-lands/
Last year, Nevadans gave nearly 45,000 hours of volunteer-time to Conservation System areas in the state, valued at over $900,000. Volunteerism on National Landscape Conservation System lands demonstrates the value of these special places to the public, with volunteerism increasing overall in the System. Last year, citizens around the country donated 344,000 hours of work at a value of nearly $7 million, equal to 13% of the System’s entire budget. The System’s lean budget makes these contributions even more valuable: last year, the System received barely more than $2.50 per acre for management, much less than other federal public lands systems. (source: The Wilderness Society).
Volunteerism is expected to increase in the National Landscape Conservation System due in part to its permanent recognition by Congress this year and its tenth anniversary celebration next year. As more people become aware that the lands they enjoy are part of a national system, enthusiasm for volunteer opportunities is expected to increase, which presents a unique opportunity for BLM.
Friends of Gold Butte is ready to harness that enthusiasm and this Saturday’s event, which is expected to draw 50 or more volunteers, is evidence of that in the Las Vegas region.
For more local information:www.publiclandsday.org , and for more information on the National Landscape Conservation System, go to www.conservationsystem.or